Tuesday, 30 September 2008

School Free Zone

I've been photoshopping ;)


I changed the sign that did say "Alcohol Free Zone ~ Consumption of Alcohol Prohibited - 2007". Now it says "School Free Zone ~ Repression of Children Prohibited - 2070"

Here's a close-up of the sign


I think it's great anyway :)

ETA- I know they're great pics, but before you all copy it all over the internet, I worked really hard to make those; at least link back to me and give credit :)

Friday, 26 September 2008

Fire! ...truck!

Our Homeschool group had a visit from the Fire department this week.

Before you all get worried; there was no fire; one of the parents organised them to come out and do a fire safety demonstration. Turns out it's a free community service for school groups, and being a homeschooling group, we qualified :)

It was seriously cool. I think we had our biggest turn-out yet at the meeting. It was raining slightly when the fire truck pulled in, so we all went and sat inside the hall while they Firemen (who were both women) gave a talk about fire  safety.30 HS fire safe

The kids all practiced doing "Stop! Drop! Cover! and Roll!" and crawling out of a burning house.

37 HS fire safe

Then they gave out little goodie bags with all kind of FireSafe branded merchandise and paraphernalia, and we all went out into the drizzle to see the fire truck.

One of the firemen asked me if it would be okay to lead the kids out into the rain, if any of the parents would mind. LOL! All the kids were already out there splashing in puddles and having a great time. :)41 HS fire safe

We had a quick tour of the truck, and looked at the various tools and hoses they had, before the grand finale...

All the kids got to have a go of the fire hose!51 HS fire safe

That was so cool! Then they drove off in a blaze of flashing lights and sirens :) 

Monday, 22 September 2008

Happy Equinox

We had a great weekend celebrating the Oestre Equinox - the start of Spring.

The weather is warm and sunny, and the flowers are blooming. We went to two equinox parties, one was a picnic down by the creek at EarthMama and Autumn's place.

17 equinox river

It was nice to see everyone, and especially see how the little baby Rainbow has grown. Littletree was so happy to hang out with him.

18 equinox picnicEarthMama set up a beautiful temple, and we circled and Aummed, and sung a song to welcome the spring; one of Littletree's composition. I can't quite remember how it went, something like:

"Spring time, spring time, Come and sing time, Spring time, spring time, Magic in bloom" 

19 equinox temple

Then we went to Australia's Macadamia Capital for a potluck and bonfire with some of the crew from Liberated Learning.  

24 hs equinox

We had a great time, with all the kids running around, and sharing yummy food. It was wonderful to be around people who weren't freaked out by having children around a bonfire. We all felt confident that our children knew about the dangers of fire; we trusted them to know what they were doing, and they knew we were right there if they needed help :)

27 bonfire

Saturday, 20 September 2008

Unschooled Communication

Last week Littletree saw a show about dinosaurs, and since then has been really interested in learning about them, On Friday we went to storytime at the library as usual, planning to get some books about dinos.

Of course, by co-incidence, the librarian had a dinosaur theme to storytime - two dinosaur stories and the craft project was making a cardboard dinosaur!

Littletree usually goes to her friend Fairy's house after Library to play, only since we've been away, we hadn't confirmed that for this week, and meanwhile, M had arranged to play over there.

Since M felt like playing with more than one other kid would be too much for her, Littletree wasn't invited. Of course, she was pretty sad about that, but the three girls sat around a table and had a talk about it.

Fairy's mum and I just sat back and watched while the girls had a really great round table talk. They all shared how they were feeling, and listened to each other, and offered ideas and suggestions.

After going around for a while, and talking about the situation, coming up with lots of good solutions, Littletree suddenly said "lets play with our dinosaurs!" so they all grabbed their cardboard dinos and had a quick play before getting back to the discussion at hand. I was so impressed with how they could all communicate.12 girls circle

At the end though, M still didn't want to play with more than one kid, so we agreed to bring Littletree over for a play later.

Sadly, Littletree didn't take it too well, and Purple and I spent most of an hour just being with her while she cried. We talked about it a lot, and in the end she decided to sent a text message to the girls to let them know how she felt.

14 pole climbingShe wrote: "Dear Fairy & M, I feel bad & its not fair when u go when i want to go with u & i dont want to say bye.& its not fair that u dont let me play too.from Littletree"

The girls replied that they were sorry and wanted to play with her another day. I just love how all these kids are so clear with how they feel and what they want, and able to communicate that. :)

In the end it was fine, since Littletree met another little girl on the street, Acrobat. They were drawn to each other like a pair of magnets, and Acrobat taught Littletree to climb up a pole. In the evening we went for dinner at the local cafe with Acrobat's family so the girls could play longer too :)15 pole climbing


Thursday, 18 September 2008

Walking on Knives

Yesterday we went ice skating with our local homeschool group and today my feet are KILLING me!

I realised something. When Hans Christian Andersen wrote that The Little Mermaid's feet would hurt like she was walking on knives, he meant rental skates! Man, I've no idea why they're made that way, but skates always make my feet so swollen and bruised.

At least Littletree had a great time, especially as one of her best friends came with us.03 skating

After the ice rink, we stopped in a great park I found for a picnic on the way home. The girls had a ball running around the rainforest, and climbing trees and stuff.

10 forest fairies

06 tree climbers

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Happy Birthday Purple

Today is Purple's 38th birthday.

When we told Littletree yesterday that it's going to be her Aba's birthday, she said "people usually have a cake for their birthday. But you know, a whole cake is too much for one person to eat. You'll need someone to help you eat it."

So lucky we had her to help with that! LOL

We had a quiet day at home, made brownies, played Monopoly, watched some videos, played with Barbies.

I've been prety busy working hard on getting Liberated Learning running smoothly, writing more articles for Essence of Life, and I attended a birth via Skype last night!

Tomorrow is homeschool group - we're going ice skating again :)

Oh, and Littletree is just fine after her fall down the stairs. Thanks everyone who sent her well-wishes!

Sunday, 14 September 2008

What a Drive!

We're home again! I was so sad to say goodbye to Lush, but she's gonna be back down here in about three weeks or so, when her contract with work is over, so it wont be too long.

After two fun weeks in Cairns, we packed up and did the long drive home, we actually went pretty fast, and made it all the way home in two days. Way faster than the three days it took getting up there, though we stopped to visit people on the way up.

The drive was around 1900km (almost 1200mi), 12 hours on the road on Friday and 14 hours on Saturday, including stops for fuel, food, and playgrounds. We got home totally exhausted at about 11:20pm last night.

It's funny, we totally would have stopped to sleep around 10pm, we'd gone far enough and were tired enough, but by then we were so close to home, it seemed silly to stop. Not to mention driving through Brisbane and the Gold Coast, there isn't much in the way of rest areas till you get to our neighbourhood.

Anyway, it's good to be home!

And today I have the nice surprise of seeing another of my articles published; one about an inspiring young musician called Amalia Rubin. Check it out!

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Water Slide

Yesterday we went to visit Bella and her tribe of six children, who I know from Liberated Learning. It was great to meet them, and though it was raining a little, the kids still went out and had a ball on a makeshift water slide they had set up.

Littletree was totally in love with it; I was amazed to see how she's getting better and better being around water.

50 slideI really loved meeting another homeschooling family, and seeing how all the kids were really involved with so many activities.

We've been having so much fun up here, but I think it's gonna be time to head back south pretty soon; the rainy season has begun!

Monday, 8 September 2008


We woke up this morning to one of our housemates excitedly telling us that Littletree was on the front page of the newspaper!

Of course we rushed out to get a copy

43 newspaperThe photo was taken on Sunday when we were at a street carnival. Littletree was happily splashing in puddles, and a photographer asked if she could take a photo for the paper. I replied that it's fine with me, but she has to ask Littletree. Littletree didn't really care, as long as she could keep splashing.

After the Carnival we drove up to Mossman Gorge, which was amazing, in the Daintree Rainforest. We had a swim - so refreshing.41 mossman gorge

Saturday, 6 September 2008

Ambulance Adventures

Today was quite an adventure. Since it's the weekend, we planned a trip up to Port Douglas and Mossman Gorge... Only in the morning Littletree had an accident.

She was playing with some friends, a bit rough and tumble, and fell headfirst down a full flight of stairs - about 2.5M onto her head. Lush (the gorgeous woman formerly known as Rapunzel),  picked Littletree up and her eyes were rolling back in her head, but she came to and started crying like a normal kid.

I held her, she was sweating and screaming for a while, and she seemed okay, but then she fell asleep. It was hard to wake her up, and then she was moaning that her tummy ached. She vomited and then passed out again, all floppy and unresponsive.

We got worried, but I didn't want to rush off to the hospital, so Lush called a healthcare hotline. Given that Littletree was vomiting, going in and out of consciousness, and had bruising around her eyes, they called an ambulance on our behalf.

Having an ambulance come was pretty scary, well, I got frightened. Though they were only coming to check on Littletree and see if she was alright.

Of course, when the paramedics came in, they checked Littletree and said we need to take her into the hospital. I tried not to cry, carrying my little girl into an ambulance.

She woke up a bit on the ride, just in time to vomit again all over me. The triage went quickly and we were brought in to a bed to await the doctor. By the time the doctor came, Littletree was recovering, seemed mostly okay. The doctor said she had a bad concussion, but should be fine.

They kept us for observation for a couple of hours; Littletree was given a popsicle made of re-hydration salts which perked her up a bit, and she spent a while playing with the electronic bed controls.

04 sequoiaEventually we were released with instructions to keep an eye on Littletree and make sure she doesn't get any more signs of head injury.

Since I hadn't even had breakfast yet, Lush went to get us a luscious picnic lunch from a fantastic organic cafe, and we sat under a shady tree by the sea to eat it. After lunch we decided to go to a nice gelateria and have ice cream. YUM!

Phew; what a long day! I'm glad Littletree is fine... but the worst part: in all the stress of going to the hospital, I didn't take my camera, so I didn't take any pictures. So here's a really gorgeous one of Littletree from last week.


Thursday, 4 September 2008


We've been having such a lush time here, adventures around the place and hanging out, relaxing, enjoying time with Rapunzel.

Yesterday we ventured to the Cairns Botanical Garden, and the Rainforest Boardwalk, which was truly amazing. We walked around for hours, oogling beautiful flowers, massive trees, and breathing in the lush forest air.

I'll just make you all jealous with some photos :)

20 Treehugger23 tree24 ela fig    30 rainforest 35 flowers28 ela path32 rain tree

Then we went for a picnic dinner on the beach with Rapunzel. *sigh* life is tough.